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Tool Tuesday - Essentials (The Kiln)

This week's post is about one essential item - the kiln.

My kiln was imported from USA specifically to anneal the glass beads I make.  Annealing is the process of heat soaking the beads at a specific temperature for a specific length of time.  Then the kiln is set to reduce the temperature slowly over a period of time.  Without annealing, the glass would cool down too quickly and unevenly, causing stress fractures and eventually the glass would crack.

My kiln has a lid on the top as well as opening flaps on the front for placing beads.  The blue controller on the side is programmable for different types of glass, as well as annealing, slumping and fusing.
Here I have opened the front flap and you can see two butterfly beads resting on a kiln rack annealing.  I put the beads in the hot kiln as soon as they are made.